Tag Archive: basics

Troubleshooting Common Pitch Location Problems

When you’re learning windmill pitching for the very first time, the ball is probably going to go everywhere… and that’s normal! Once you sort of get the hang of it, however, you may notice that when you miss your pitch location, it is often in the same spot, or the same two spots. I find myself constantly reminding my students WHY pitch after pitch lands inside, outside, high, or low; I tell them to memorize the reason so they can self-correct in games and practices. Whether you’re a parent trying to teach your daughter to pitch and you’re not quite sure how to troubleshoot location issues, or you’re a Fastpitch Power student already and you need a cheat sheet to help you remember, this post is for you!

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How Much Should You Practice Pitching?

An EXTREMELY common question I hear from parents of new young pitchers is, “How often should my daughter pitch? How many pitches should she throw?” You may have started noticing a pattern in my answers to these types of questions: there is no “right answer” or solid number I can give you that works for everyone. There are, however, guidelines you should take into account, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today.

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A Practice Model for Pitchers and Catchers

If you really want to reach your maximum potential as a pitcher or a catcher and help your team as much as possible, pitchers and catchers from the same team MUST practice together. We love dedicated parents and siblings who catch for their daughters/sisters, but pitchers who never throw to their catchers during their workouts leave so much potential untapped, and the same goes for catchers.

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Movement Pitch Grips and Spins: Rise Ball

Today we’re continuing to take a closer look at how to throw movement pitches in windmill pitching. I’m going to discuss the grip of the rise ball and how to spin the ball to achieve maximum movement.

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Movement Pitch Grips and Spins: Screwball

Over the next several weeks, we’re going to be taking a closer look at how to throw movement pitches in windmill pitching. Starting with the screwball today, I’m going to discuss the grip of each movement pitch and how to spin the ball to achieve maximum movement.

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Reach, Track, Fire and Drive

What follows is one of my favorite muscle memory drills which helps pitchers see and feel their bodies at various, crucial points in the delivery. Please note the following when performing this drill:

1. The pitcher should be 25 – 35 feet from the catcher, depending on age and level.

2. Coaches commands should be a minimum of 2 to 3 seconds apart to allow the pitcher to sense and adjust any mechanical flaws, as well as keep her balance (if she cannot keep her balance, it’s an indication that she needs to strength train).

3. This video is a demonstration for a fastball. The drill can be adapted for any pitch. Look to future posts for other pitches.

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When is the Right Time to Learn Movement Pitches?

I’ve heard a number of parents who are trying to teach their kids windmill pitching ask when is the appropriate age for a kid to learn movement pitches. Similarly, parents of my own students have often asked me when we will move on to something new, and the students are likewise eager to tackle this challenge. Since Coach Phil’s last two videos (which can be viewed here and here) gave an overview of how to utilize the throw zone during movement pitches, I thought today would be a good time to introduce this topic.

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A Closer Look at Forearm Fire

Forearm fire is the terminology that we at Fastpitch Power use to describe the proper release of the ball in windmill pitching. Some of you may have heard part of it referred to as “internal rotation,” describing the positioning and movement of the pitching arm, elbow, and wrist as they travel down the back side of the arm circle and move through the throw zone. It’s a natural and powerful movement, and we believe it is critical to pitching with maximum velocity and command while minimizing the chance of injury. Because forearm fire utilizes the arm’s natural articulation together with gravity, many pitchers just do it without thinking about it. For those who don’t, it can be frustrating to learn. Today’s video provides a breakdown, and an explanation of its advantages over upward elbow snap, sometimes referred to as “hello elbow.”

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Video: Importance of the Glove Hand in Windmill Pitching

Do you think about your glove hand when you’re pitching? Do you even know what it’s doing? The glove hand is an EXTREMELY important part of the windmill pitch. It has the power to steer your body in the direction of your target, and the power to pull your shoulders way out of alignment if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. Maintaining good glove work takes a lot of core strength. In this video blog, I’m going to demonstrate the power of the glove and some common mistakes that pitchers make with their gloves.

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Is Your Pre-motion Hurting Your Pitch? Part 3

A good backswing

We’re continuing our series on the pre-motion portion of the windmill pitch and the most common pre-motion issues that end up affecting the pitch negatively. Today’s topic might be a bit controversial: it’s the backswing. I’ll be honest; if it were up to us, we’d eliminate windmill pitchers’ backswings altogether. We believe they do more harm than good, and we’ll explain why in this post. That said, if you must have a backswing to pitch comfortably, you should definitely be aware of the problems that certain backswings can cause and how to keep them under control.

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